DNC Primary Deadline Quietly Comes and Goes

The Democratic National Committee silent as its own Sept. 1 deadline for states to comply with its touted new nominating schedule for U.S. President comes and goes.
DNC Primary Deadline Quietly Comes and Goes
Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) speaks at the DNC Winter Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., on Feb. 4, 2023. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
Alice Giordano

The deadline to comply with the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) new nominating schedule for the presidency has all but come and gone, and there are no signs that neither party in both New Hampshire and Iowa has changed their minds about not complying.

What the DNC will do about the bipartisan disobedience of Sept. 1 deadline it set for the states to pick a date that follows the newly-dubbed first in the nation primary state of South Carolina remains to be seen.

Democrats from both states didn’t respond to requests from The Epoch Times about the deadline, but both have decried the rescheduling. In one show of compromise, Iowa Democrats voted to hold their caucus on Jan. 15, the same day the Republicans have said they will caucus, but unlike GOPers, they'll withhold the results until after South Carolina and other states release their primary results.

Ray Buckley, Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, has protested the new contest rules, saying recently that “the DNC has handed New Hampshire Republicans a salient political attack to use against both state and national Democrats“ and calling it ”an unfortunate, reckless, and self-inflicted blow.”

Republicans, in responding to the Sept. 1 deadline, took the opportunity to re-emphasize that, unlike Democrats, they have relatively nothing to lose under the reordering and will likely end up benefiting from it.

“If anything, this is going to weaken Joe Biden in the eyes of his Democratic voters here,” Chairman of Iowa GOP Jeff Kaufmann told The Epoch Times on the day of the DNC Sept. 1 deadline, “We’re hearing a lot of talk here about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.”

Mr. Kennedy, one of two Democratic contenders for United States president, has garnered more support than expected in his quest to take the party nomination from Biden, with some polls showing the nephew of late President John F. Kennedy Jr. with a higher favorability rating.

It is historically harder to beat an incumbent candidate in the race for United States president than a newly primaried one.

New DNC Schedule Could Benefit Biden Contenders

In Iowa, President Biden already has a fractured relationship with Democrats in the Midwest state, having come in fourth in 2020 in the party’s Iowa caucus.

In New Hampshire, the DNC’s new schedule, a shuffling made under the command of Biden, may prove not just beneficial to Republicans but to Mr. Kennedy.

It is likely that President Biden won’t even be on the Live Free or Die state’s Democratic ballot since he has already indicated he would not acknowledge New Hampshire’s primary if the state doesn’t adhere to his new schedule.

It could, by the very least spell, a potential upset partially reminiscent of what happened in 1976 when longshot Democratic contender Jimmy Carter won the Iowa caucus.

President Carter, who, like Mr. Kennedy, was initially dubbed a fringe candidate, then went on to win the New Hampshire primary, the party nomination and beat out incumbent Gerald Ford for the Presidency.

What is so far certain is that neither state is budging.

As of Friday, New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan released a statement to The Epoch Times underscoring the Live Free or Die State hasn’t changed its mind about holding its primary before South Carolina.

“The September 1st deadline set by the DNC for New Hampshire to comply with their primary schedule was meaningless. At the right time, NH will schedule the date of its first-in-the-nation presidential primary,” Secy. Scanclan’s office wrote.

The DNC reasoned their bumping of Iowa and New Hampshire from their historic ranking as being necessary to create a long overdue, diverse representation of the first round of Americans to participate in the choosing of the United States president, pointing out that Iowa and New Hampshire are predominantly white.

New Hampshire is 90.4 percent white, and Iowa is 89.8 percent white, whereas South Carolina is 68.9 percent white.

Following the DNC’s vote to push down New Hampshire and Iowa on the schedule, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, who is black, said, “Folks, the Democratic Party looks like America, and so does this proposal.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Rita Hart, who spearheaded the idea to withhold the Democrat’s caucus results, also initiated a plan to encourage Democrats to use mail-in votes to participate in the caucus to create a more “diverse” representation of voters.

Mr. Harrison did not respond to numerous calls from The Epoch Times about the Sept. 1 deadline and what actions the committee intends to take against candidates who participate in “non-complying” primaries.

Many like New Hampshire Republican Melissa Blasek, a former state Representative and a top campaigner for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, believe that the top punishment will be withholding delegates from candidates who do not disavow the state’s noncompliance.

“Even if Kennedy wins, I don’t think the DNC will let him keep his delegates,” she said.

Mr. Kaufmann, a former Iowa state Representative, agreed that the DNC could potentially use the state’s noncompliance to hand Biden a win in the respective contests if he doesn’t win on his own, but ultimately he believes Democratic voters will remember “the big middle finger” it gave them and possibly vote outside party lines in the general election.

Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.
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